A horrible hack


Mantlepiece Fiasco

Year Released: 2008
Format: CD
Label: self released
Reviewed by Tom Sloan on Jun 23, 2009
This cd sleeve has been staring at me for a long time from its permanent home on my desk – a picture of someone/something in a white jacket, with a typewriter for a head. The figure’s hand appears to be that of some sort of monster – green, with pointy fingernails. Yet it has other bits of green smattered over it, so this might be coincidental. The presence of a typewriter, the grainy colours, and the rather clinical sounding band name suggests to me that this is going to be some sort of electronica, but pressing play releases a driving beat and some guitar-effectery that initially calls to mind the eerie aesthetic of post-rockers The Drift…not for long, though, as a couple of guitar lines riff away and the female vocals kick-in. This song just about holds my attention – the singer sings perfectly well, there are interesting bits and excursions, and there is a short part at the end where the music breaks down into a, erm, lounge jazz section, and the saxophonist has a play around. The rest of the cd retains a similar, proggy feel. There is more sax – this is the best bit. Overall there is a fine line tread between interesting and dull, and interesting and awful. The band are all really good at their instruments, evidently. Better than 90 percent of the musicians that grace the left hand column of this review section, in all probability. This one’s definitely staying on the right hand side, though.

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